12 Facts About Standard English


Typically, British English is taught as standard across Europe, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia, and American English is taught as standard across Latin America and East Asia.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,846

The first variety of English to be called a “standard literary language” was the West Saxon variety of Old English.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,847

Individual scribes spent whole careers in the mixed-language stage, with no knowledge that monolingual Standard English would be the eventual outcome and that it was in fact a stage of transition.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,848

Wright suggests that the reason for the abandonment of Anglo-Norman towards the end of the fourteenth century and consequent absorption of many of its written features into written Standard English lay in the socio-economic improvement of the poorer, monolingually Standard English-speaking classes over that century.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,849

When monolingual Standard English replaced Anglo-Norman French, it took over its pragmatic functions too.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,850

Supralocal varieties of Standard English which replaced Anglo-Norman in the late fifteenth century were still regional, but less so than fourteenth-century Middle Standard English had been, particularly with regard to morphemes, closed-class words and spelling sequences.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,851

Supralocal varieties of Standard English took on this uniformity by reducing more regionally-marked features and permitting only one or two minor variants.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,852

Standard English was not to settle into its present form until the early nineteenth century.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,853

Such multiregionalisms in Standard English are explained by the fifteenth-century countrywide expansion of business, trade and commerce, with linguistic elements passed around communities of practice and along weak-tie trade networks, both orally and in writing.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,854

Ekwall hypothesised that Standard English developed from the language of upper-class East Midland merchants who influenced speakers in the City of London.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,855

Standard English thought that upper-class speech would have been influential, although he suggested influence from the Danelaw in general.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,856

Standard English shifted Ekwall's hypothesis from the East to the Central Midlands, he classified late medieval London and other texts into Types I-IV, and he introduced the label 'Chancery Standard' to describe writing from the King's Office of Chancery, which he claimed was the precursor of Standard English.

FactSnippet No. 1,631,857